Saturday, 21 March 2015

Benelux Tour Day 5 PA/G4OBK/P

Day 5: 25th March 2015

PA/PA-005 > PA-004 > Ferry home

PA-005 Galgenberg (Terlet)

As expected our last day was wet right through until the afternoon. The two summits in the north of the Netherlands (if you can call them summits - they aren't) are located 150 Kms north of the two southerly summits near Maastricht. After breakfast in Valkenburg we drove north through rain up the A50 motorway. Without my usual meticulous planning, having decided to go there the night before, we sailed past the summit on the motorway, and so had to turn off at the next intersection and follow a minor road back adjacent to the motorway to reach it.

The summit is on a caravan / camping park and to reach it you drive through a glider aerodrome. There was no one around and the campsite was deserted. We drove straight into the campsite, parked up and walked about 100m to our operating positions. Brollies were deployed and we were able to complete our activation without any problem.  

There was some moorland on the other side of a fence at the top of the campsite where I found this memorial seat to Dirk (2010), so I set up there: usual kit FT-857 - 7 AH LiFePo4 battery, 6m pole and link dipole. I logged 30 contacts and the only UK station worked was my friend Terry G0VWP who lives in York. 

This was Nick's 40m station - we both have the same type of golf umbrella... he was up against the fence and quite close to the trig point, note the large caravan in the background:

My position on the seat was to the right of here and less than 100m away. We packed up, wet and continued to PA-004 west of Apeldoorn, our final summit of the trip...

PA/PA-004 Torenberg (Apeldoorn)

The actual summit is in secure private woodland which is controlled for some reason by government security personnel and police. We know this as we were approached during our activation twice by both divisions and interrogated!

The N344 road crosses the activation zone and we parked in a layby. This drew attention to our presence hence the visit by the security people. If you do activate here I would not recommend parking on the main road, better to turn off (on Kamsteeg perhaps - see SMP/OSM) and set up your station there. 

We set up about 50m inside the wood against the security fence. I would have taken a photograph but with two visits from the security people I did not want to get my camera out in case we were being watched. We were asked what we were doing, and our passports were scrutinised before we were left to continue with the activation completing 51 contacts between us. 

Here is a map of the PA/G4OBK/P contacts made from the 4 Netherlands Summits activated. 

So that was our 5 day tour of the Benelux Complete - Luxembourg, Belgium and Netherlands SOTA Complete for me, and shortly after my certificate arrived for Belgium:

It has been a successful tour, especially meeting up with ON6ZQ, ON4UP, ON9CBQ and DL3SBA. 

Summits activated: 20
Number of contacts (both operators): 1299

We boarded the Pride of Hull Ferry at Europoort and enjoyed the crossing, with a good meal, plenty of beer and live entertainment provided by a 1960s retro band who were excellent. The bigger P&O boats feature on the crossing from Hull to Rotterdam (Europoort), whereas on the Zeebrugge crossing the boats are older, smaller and are inferior in every respect. Something to consider when we embark on our next tour.

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